Don’t Stress “The Important Stuff”

Mairead Murphy (@MermaidMaireadM) is from Lordship, a small community within the town of Stratford, Conn. She is a senior Journalism major at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. Mairead’s passionate about many things: writing, reading good books, painting, photography, her favorite artists (Edward Hopper, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, M.C. Escher, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Weston Benson), and more. She’s written for her school’s newspaper, The Hawks Herald, and an online student based magazine called “Under the Bridge”. For now, Mairead is focusing on graduating in the Spring.

Each year, the routine becomes a little easier. Maybe not the work load, tuition payments, or boy drama, but that’s life. Ultimately it’s the “stuff” that changes. The things you deem most important. Everyone remembers trying to get ready for freshmen year. Pestering your mom for “just one more trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond please!” Or that trendy duvet cover from Urban Outfitters that “everyone else’s parents buy for their kid!” (Little did anyone know that eventually it’d be marked with red wine stains.)

But as the weeks, months, years go on, you start to make alterations. You begin to think “maybe I don’t need the most expensive shower curtain.” And “perhaps I’ll survive without all 12 pairs of my jeans; or even 12 NEW pairs of jeans.” Upperclassman will tell be the first to show you that class isn’t a fashion show. Unless of course you go to F.I.T. or something, which in that case class is probably a fashion show. But lets be honest, you only need a few pairs of “going out” clothes. Focus more on statement pieces (leggings, yoga pants, your favorite sweatshirt). The essentials. And if you don’t have an outfit to wear, chill. Besides, isn’t that what roommates are for?

You’ll also learn how to conserve more than just dorm space. Money. That’s a biggie. I never realized how much it costs to get a coffee every morning. Or going to the movies. Everything suddenly had a price tag on it. And checking your bank account after a night out is almost as dreadful as the walk of shame. Don’t feel too bad, everyone’s broke in college! But not everyone knows how to manage it. Here’s some tips:

Keep the change- Stop and Shop has these cool machines called Coinstars that count your change for you and you walk out with actual dollar bills. Cha-Ching!
Get a job- Most universities offer part time jobs. Even local restaurants, pharmacies, and grocery stores hire college students.
Thrift shop- Up until college years most would cringe at the thought, but thrift shopping isn’t only money saving, it’s fun!

Yeah, college is hard. Not just the workload but the whole living on your own deal. It’s scary sometimes. It’s definitely stressful and there will be times you don’t think you can do it. But keep in mind what’s important to you. Remember what you’re there for and remember you’re not alone. If you do that, college can be fun!

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